Learn by Creating! The USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program Support Student-led Innovation
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - January 18, 2019 - On January 18, 2019, the Final Showcase of the USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program: Engineering Projects in Community Service was held. More than 150 participating STEM students from six engineering and technology focused universities concluded the five-month program following the EPICS curriculum model, an internationally recognized model of service learning where students not only learn by doing but also learn by creating.
This is the third EPICS program held in Vietnam, and the second year of the Dow Vietnam STEM Program. Working with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance, implemented by Arizona State University, Dow Vietnam developed the STEM Program to support student-led innovation and service learning at Vietnamese universities. The Dow Vietnam STEM program sponsorship provided funding for students’ projects, faculty support, and industry-based mentoring to ensure the success of over 150 students and the 27 competing student teams.
27 student-teams from six Vietnamese BUILD-IT partner engineering universities showcased their innovative prototypes to judges from government, industry, and academia at the USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program: Engineering Projects in Community Service Final Showcase hosted by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education. This is a key program within the BUILD-IT Alliance’s mission to integrate project-based learning into top universities’ curricula, and signals the solid commitment of government, industry, and academia to integrate project-based learning into the curriculum at pioneering universities.
Joining the students at the competition, Mr. Tomoyuki Sasama, General Director of Dow Vietnam, was excited to see the students’ prototypes and shared that, “Our Dow STEM Program is to inspire the students with innovation and entrepreneurship to support the sustainable development of their local community as well as to support future workforce development through practical education and a strong awareness of environmental protection. This STEM program is one of our signature projects to help the community solve its challenges. Dow will continue to support the best teams to commercialize their innovations in the market”.
Based on the past success of USAID BUILD-IT and the Dow Vietnam STEM Program: Engineering Projects in Community Service, leadership and faculty at BUILD-IT partner universities are preparing to convert the program from an extracurricular activity to a graded course within engineering majors; ensuring the sustainability in Vietnam and the integration of the Engineering Projects in Community Service program into the university structures.
The Dow Vietnam STEM Program is also collaborating with USAID BUILD-IT to launch the Maker to Entrepreneurship Program, providing top teams from today’s showcase with an opportunity to further develop their ideas and project concepts, and the Undergraduate Research Initiative program preparing young minds in the fundamentals for innovative research.
The USAID BUILD-IT Alliance is a five-year public-private partnership founded to support world-class engineering programs and create work-ready graduates in Vietnam. Implemented by Arizona State University, the Alliance has over 16 industry partners and 11 Vietnamese university partners. Collaboration between the Alliance members strengthens university-industry linkages, and introduces project-based learning programs such as Engineering Projects in Community Service into Vietnamese STEM programs.
EPICS is an international award-winning, designed-based, service-learning program founded at Purdue University in 1995. During EPICS student teams will partner with a community organization to design, build, and deploy systems to solve engineering-based problems. The program guides student teams through processes of design innovation, team management, testing, and presenting in technical English. EPICS projects span the spectrum - finding solutions to challenges in human health care, energy, sustainability, and more.
EPICS is a designed-based, service-learning program where student teams will partner with a community organization to design, build, and deploy systems to solve engineering-based problems. The program guides student teams through processes of design innovation, team management, testing, and presenting in technical English. EPICS projects span the spectrum - finding solutions to challenges in human health care, energy, sustainability, and more
About The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people progress beyond assistance. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Please visit www.usaid.gov or follow https://www.facebook.com/USAID/ for more information.
About USAID BUILD-IT
By modernizing technology and engineering higher education in Vietnamese universities, the BUILD-IT Alliance is helping Vietnamese model universities produce graduates with the skills that Vietnam’s increasingly sophisticated economy demands. BUILD-IT leverages diverse government, industry, and academic partners to directly link higher education to the needs of the private sector. The Alliance builds strategic leadership skills to help the university’s own leaders advance university autonomy, improve program and instructional quality, and form lasting partnerships with the private sector. BUILD-IT supports women’s participation in technology and engineering programs through leadership forums, academic initiatives, and scholarships.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University was rank #1 Most Innovative University in America by U.S. News & World Report for four consecutive years 2014. With over 100,000 students, ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.
About Dow Vietnam
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has been in Vietnam since 1995. From that year onward, Dow has been a partner in Vietnam’s progress and development and is committed to contributing to Vietnam’s economic growth and add value to the country’s advanced manufacturing industries. One of the ways in which Dow furthers its mission to passionately create innovation for stakeholders at the combination of science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress and to strongly support for the Dow Vietnam STEM Program: Engineering Projects in Community Service.